Nelly Readies Film Debut

Nelly has captured America's ears — and wallets — with his debut album, Country Grammar, which has held the No. 1 spot on the album charts for five straight weeks. But will he be as engaging when he goes from being captor to captive?

Fans will get a chance to find out when he makes his major motion-picture debut in Snipes, according to Tuesday’s edition of The Hollywood Reporter.

The urban thriller, slated to go before the cameras in Philadelphia starting Oct. 2 and sporting a price tag of under $10 million, features the chart-topping rapper as Prolifik, a hip-hop artist (oh, there’s a stretch) kidnapped on the eve of the release of his hotly anticipated debut album. The titular teenage protagonist, a part time employee of a hip-hop label, witnesses the crime and eventually must square off with both the kidnappers and the corrupt head of Prolifik’s label.

“Nelly is one of the few hip-hop artists who has a solid underground following and also has a foothold in mainstream mass appeal,”executive producer Chris Schwartz told the Reporter. “Those were the unique qualities we were looking for in this role”

The picture, which includes cameos from rappers Fat Joe, Kool Moe Dee, and Schooly D, is the first feature project from Schwartz’s RuffNation Films, a division of his RuffWorld Entertainment — which also encompasses hip-hop label RuffHouse Records, home to Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, the Fugees and Cypress Hill.